Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It was about four years ago that I first became acquainted with who I now only refer to on a first name basis. Dear sweet Edith. Each month, I gathered with other young new members of a freshly-formed neighborhood church to pore over the pages of Mrs. Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

I was a recent college graduate at the time, having moved to a new town to begin work in my first professional job. At that point, I had moved no less than a half dozen times in five years. I had begun collecting odds and ends—things that might one day make a place a home. They were mismatched and incomplete. I felt an inner urging for wholeness, groundedness, for rest. But the truth was, I was in transition.

**Quick aside, I firmly believe that I was wholly unprepared for the several years after college that proved to be much more trying than I could've imagined. Who would've known that becoming a real-world working woman would require several wrong pursuits to finally—years later—arrive at a place that felt right, that just fit? If I have one piece of advice for new graduates, it would be this. Be patient. Be flexible. You may want to begin the rest of your life immediately, but more often than not, it's a process. Like most other things, getting there takes time for both you and that idea mature and grow. So, give yourself a break. You don't have to the woman you always dreamed you'd be. You just have to start becoming.**

So amidst the tumult of age 22,  I sat encircled with other gentle souls. I listened as women, just a few years my senior, echoed Edith's sentiment about finding beauty in everyday living, in making art out of home-based activities. Whether it is through cooking or gardening, making music, or decorating a home, God is inviting us to take part in His creativity. Don't wait, she encouraged, until you own a home, are married, settled, and have it all figured out.

The only place to start is to start.

And, so I did, and it was so soon that I felt alive to the woman God made me to be. I opened up my home to others more frequently. I dusted off the sewing machine, I framed old prints. I took a million culinary risks, far beyond my actual capacities. I delved into new hobbies, and re-awakened artistic leanings that I'd allowed to go dormant. I certainly didn't succeed in them all, but I was making, I was moving.

The simple of acts of effort were nothing short of transformative. I truly believe that the Lord used Edith's wisdom to crack open what He planted within me, within each of us. He desires for us to get involved with the world He has given us. In doing so, we become characters in our setting, looking for His maker's mark on all things. He doesn't ask for perfect, just for participation.

1 comment:

Jessie Ammons said...

Welcome words of wisdom on a Tuesday.